August 25, 2016

Michael Bobbitt: Notes From The Peanut Gallery (June 11th, 2014)

The City Council’s meeting on Monday was recessed and resumed Wednesday evening to continue seeking a budget consensus. Wednesday’s meeting was prefaced with drama and a meeting saving rescue maneuver by the city manager and mayor. The drama began about an hour before the meeting’s start time. Zeus tossed a thunderbolt into the local power grid leaving city hall in the dark physically not just figuratively. The Peanut Gallery was abuzz speculating that Zeus was displeased with the elimination of the Main Street Manager position, the sole paid staff member of the Downtown Development Commission. When from out of the darkness of council chamber came the city manager, the mayor, and a council member to the rescue towing tables, chairs and handheld portable lights. There is a little known State rule called open meeting. This rule prohibits holding public meetings away from the public’s sight or changing the location without proper notice. So as the other council members, city staff members, the public, and the media began to arrive the front lobby of City Hall was transformed into a makeshift council chamber. The council chamber was completely visible to the public and Zeus whom continued his protest outside on the city street.

Budget Review – Approval

The agenda for Monday’s meeting included passage of the budget. The passage was derailed when the Chair of the DCC and the Director of the EDC plus two EDC members objected to a cost cutting measure that eliminated the Main Street Manager position. The short story is this; the Council approved the budget without saving the Main Street Manager position. The rest of the story is the political thinking rationalizing a business decision.

Following the formalities of Mr. Griffin summarization of Monday’s meeting the Mayor asked the council members how they wanted to proceed. Council Member Daeke started the discussion saying the council does a lot of things half way, recreation is a good example we didn’t fund maintenance and upkeep. Adding that “[t]he DDC is another one where we funded the position but did not have any operating money.” He stressed the need to fund some part of the DDC’s needs. He then proposed what became known as the Daeke Compromise. Using the funds allocated for the currently vacant planning department manager’s position, until that position is filled, to fund some operations of the DDC or Redevelopment Commission. Those funds would be available to do things “like tangible appearance stuff”. Tangible appearance things Council Member Daeke has in mind included putting facades on buildings, putting up signs, and lights making the buildings to look attractive. (A frontend loader and several large dump trucks have a better chance of improving the look of downtown than facades, signs, and lights.) Additionally, the Deake Compromise include transferring the current Main Street Manager to another recently opened position within the city. All in all the Daeke Compromise could satisfy the DDC and their allies the EDC, maintains city staffing level, and does not require any additional funding. Apparently Zeus approved of the Daeke Compromise. As the Council was voting approval of the budget with the Daeke Compromise natural sunlight brighten the makeshift council chamber

A downside of this compromise, the city looses the Main Street designation. An upside could be a commitment by downtown property owners to make more than facade changes to their tired looking building. One side note, the Mayor and Council allowed John Populorum to speak as though at Monday’s public hearing. Mr. Populorum opposed saving the Market Street Manager position.

Additional Business

After the budget was approved the Council approved modification to Change Order #4 for the Henderson Water Reclamation Facility Project. This change order was discussed Monday and a decision was tabled until the Wednesday meeting. The need for the change order is the result of a code change after construction started. The Council may have made a penny wise and pond foolish decision regarding this change. They approved a workaround, an alternative approach, to a problem saving some money now. As Council Member Daeke said at the beginning of the meeting, the council does a lot of things half way. Time will tell if the alternative was the better solution.


  1. Out in Left Field said on:

    Did property tax deadbeat Brenda Peace vote on the city budget?

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  2. Out in Left Field said on:

    A good first step to fixing up downtown starts with the foreclose on property tax deadbeat Daryl von Williams bogus skool. How many thousands does she owe? I understand one of Henderson’s “leaders” rents space to her for her café. That may explain why the spineless will not foreclose on her.

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  3. Rick Brand said on:

    How come no one ever comments on the Western Auto Building which has been allowed to be a warehouse for almost 20 years in violation of the Downtown code?

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  4. prudence said on:

    Good question Mr. Brand–aren’t you on the planning or zoning board?

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  5. mingo said on:

    Planning board, nor Zoning board, has anything to do with code enforcement!

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  6. prudence said on:

    Point taken Mingo–I thought zoning had some input for code enforcement–?!?

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  7. Deception said on:

    I hate that tax deadbeat DVWilliams has to spend money on Halloween Candy now that the Downtown Development Manager position has been cut…..She could have used that extra money to pay some the taxes she owes to the city……Ever heard of “civic duty” DVWilliams? I guess your buddy on the city council Peace hasn’t either….not to mention BOE member Emeron Cash. Boy you have some people in Vance County in elected positons that can’t manage their own monies most lest the budgets for the city/county/schools. It’s almost laughable.

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  8. Jack Johnson said on:

    I now have a $5000 deductible because of this idiot president and you want me to pay for birth control for a woman who wants to have sex and it will only cost them $9-$18/month depending on where you get it? KMA

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  9. prudence said on:

    Amen! Jack Johnson you are so right.

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  10. Out in Left Field said on:

    Jack Johnson, why should some part of my insurance premium be used to off-set the price of your Viagra? Prudence your praise of the Jack Johnson’s posting surprised me. Are you a woman?

    Jack Johnson epitomizes the thinking that a woman’s place is subservient to the male.

    I predict that in due time Hobby Lobby’s market share will decline dramatically as real women take their dollars elsewhere.

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  11. Mr. Opinionated said on:

    Well I will second the liking of Jack’s position on this. I’m paying out of the nose for insurance, yet people are complaining over a handful of small companies being able to opt out of having to pay for birth control. I think we have many bigger things to focus on than this but I definitely think the “pouring outcry” is a bit overkill, lol.

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  12. prudence said on:

    “OILF “It’s about personal responsibility and fiscal responsibility–so I agree with Jack Johnson–this is not a sexist issue to my mind.

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  13. Out in Left Field said on:

    Prudence, help me to understand how paying for health insurance that includes birth control shows a lack of personal and financial responsibility? The court’s ruling permits a man to place an extra financial burden on women who are being personally and financially responsible. You don’t see that as a sexist issue.

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  14. Jack Johnson said on:

    just because you are an Obamaidiot, you still don’t get the message. I don’t use Viagara and my insurance doesn’t pay for it. If I did use it I would pay for it myself because that would be me using it not you. /i would not ask you to pay for my medicine used for sex. It is my responsibility and it is the womans responsibility to buy her own contraception. You probably think this nation is just doing fine under Obama idiot but maybe you don’t have any common sense. I don’t need to list the fallacies of this president because i would run out of space.

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